During the 2012 preseason there will be certain players that we’ll go back and specifically watch for during the games, trying to get a feel for who will help this team in 2012, and who needs to go home. Prior to the first preseason game against St. Louis, I shared eight players that I would be watching during the game, all eight of which will be reviewed extensively on Colts Authority, along with several other players. The previously reviewed players are listed here:
The wide receiver battle is one of the more interesting competitions going on in the Colts’ camp this year, with a few young, potential enriched players who are fighting for the final spots.
Two of the favorites for that spot are Kris Adams and Quan Cosby.
The two players are polar opposites, Adams a 6-3 receiver with elite speed (ran a 4.31 at his pro day in 2011) and Cosby a 5-9, slot/possession type of receiver. Adams has been mentioned by the reporters in camp nearly every day, seeming to get a big play each day. Cosby has rarely been mentioned, just quietly chugging along.
But, while both players were buried on the original depth chart, they were brought in to take snaps with the first and second team on Sunday, seemingly the two receivers directly behind Brazill and Hilton.
So, which one did the most to help his case for the final wide receiver spot on Sunday? The answer is complicated.
For their raw numbers, Cosby was clearly the winner:
Adams: Six routes, one target, one catch, nine yards
Cosby: eight routes, four targets, three catches, 44 yards
Adams was rarely even looked at, as the quarterback tended to stick to short, quick passes, throwing to their first or second read. I only counted one other POSSIBLE time that the QB even glanced in Adams direction in his six pass snaps that I caught, and that was iffy at best. On his one target, Adams ran a quick slant route (the only short route of his six) and caught a pass slightly behind him, in traffic, for the first down. It was definitely a routine play, although maybe slightly more difficult than it should have been, but Adams made the most of it, which is a positive.
Cosby, on the other hand, was targeted on 50% of his pass routes, largely because he worked from the slot, and was the first read on many of the plays.
On his first catch, Cosby was matched with a linebacker in the slot, and Luck hit him for a 32 yard gain down the middle of the field. Cosby didn’t have quite the separation that he probably should have had, but he had enough so Luck could “throw him open,” with a pass high and away from the defender. To Cosby’s credit, he did a very good job of leaping and turning to make the grab at the one-yard line. On his other three targets, Cosby was the quick first option, on short passes: two outs (dropped one) and one slant. The one drop he had is a negative, but he made enough positive plays throughout the game that I can overlook it. Hopefully the coaches can too.
It’s tough to make a judgment on these players, especially on such a small sample size (more so with Adams), but personally I feel like Adams would be the better fit, simply because he’s unique in this group of wide receivers. At 6-3, he is a full three inches taller than any other receiver on the roster, and his speed gives him the potential to be a special deep threat.
However, the coaches could decdie that Brazill, Hilton, and possibly Avery have enough speed on the outside to be primary deep threats, and Cosby could make for a good possession receiver to balance out the group. We don’t know if Cosby’s hands have looked better in practice than Adams, but Cosby did have a drop on Sunday.
But, again, on such a limited sample size, it makes the most sense to wait on assessing them until we’ve seen them again.